Why Stress and Depression in Kids and Teens Should Not be Ignored

It can be fairly easy to assume your kids’ problems are little more than normal, school age occurrences. After all, they are in a loving home, they are not being bullied, they are doing OK with their grades, and so really they don’t have any problems beyond the odd disagreement with a friend, a bit of trouble with a teacher, or the stress of handing in a homework assignment. However, when your child claims to be feeling stressed, or appears to be depressed, they may still need some support.

You Kids Don’t Know What Real Stress is Like!

From an adult’s perspective, kids don’t know the meaning of the word ‘stress’. They don’t have to worry about money, they don’t have a boss breathing down their neck, and their personal relationships are simple. Teens, equally, may have some anxiety about the future, and may have a bit of peer pressure or drama in their lives, but this seems like weak sauce compared to what happens after you finish school!

However, just because the things children and teens claim to be stressed about are not as intense as the things adults find stressful, and just because they are things you have been through yourself, a long time ago, doesn’t mean it pays to be flippant about them.

Not Equipped to Deal with Pressure

As an adult, we can compare the problems we can overcome now with the stuff we worried about as children, and see that the ‘child’ problems – for kids in comfortable, healthy environments – are nothing to worry about at all. We can see things ‘in the grand scheme of things’, and that something that seems like big drama now, like an argument with a friend, will be forgotten in a few days. From that position, it can be hard to see things as a child again. It is by going through the kind of seemingly mild problems you encounter with your social life, school work deadlines, and other such issues as a kid and a teen that you learn to tackle bigger problems later on. When you are not yet equipped to deal with big problems, the small ones can cause exactly the same kind of response as a major dilemma will in later life!

What You Can Do To Help

As long as you know there isn’t anything more serious you need to deal with, like a bullying situation, then what is most important is not to take your kid’s claims of being stressed out or unhappy too lightly. Let them talk about it without comparing their problems to those of adults. Let them make out their argument with their friend is as big a drama as your own friend’s divorce situation! To them it is. Also, look out for signs they may have actual clinical depression. This can affect all kinds of people, often for no clear reason, and that includes kids and teens. Experts like Dr. Bradley A Jabour of Smart Brain and Health recommend medication free therapies and treatments for children who have issues with depression.

It can be hard to take a child’s stresses and problems seriously, but remember that to them they are a big deal, and also that mental health problems like depression can be an issue for kids, too.

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